To sum Mana up at the minute would be to call him an inconvenient stain – all his systems are occupied and cleaning them up is tiring at best, a constant drain on resources at worst. This cleaning up has to continue though, the systems are valuable and it’s either take them or risk a sudden uprising should Mana return.
Upon attacking I discover the annoying thing about moving against large concentrations of Miker’s ships. Rather than knocking my big fleet down to a managable size with his big fleet, he left one ship defending and sent his big fleets scattershot to lots of different stars of mine. This lead to the most panicky defence I’ve ever embarked upon, as I had to create so many fleets all at once just to get enough ships concentrated in areas to defend successfully. The $50 I had held back for such occasions wasn’t even enough, as I needed to get from Plan D to Plan G amount of ships. To this end I asked Dante, who was broke. The Brush Heads weren’t online and I was hesitant about where their loyalties lay. Mana was a robot. WasteManager was a bastard. That left one person; Ludo.
Ludo now had only one world to his name that lay inbetween me, Miker and Dante; called Neshmet. Miker hadn’t gotten around to killing him, and me and Dante felt it would be unfair to hit a guy whilst he’s down. This proved to be a saving grace, as after frantically messaging him on steam Ludo happily sent me the $25 I needed with just enough time left spare to get the fleet to the planet. 10 minutes of time.
CALL FUNCTION TOTAL_WARFARE…..ERROR
FAILED TO LOAD MODULE “WAR DEATH AND PAIN”.
SUGGESTED ACTION: COMPLETE_APATHY
The display of the galaxy map was stained by my tears of despair. It would be too easy to break down completely. Drusilla had been headstrong, foolish, even, yet that was why I had loved her, chin bristles and all. Brush-Heads across the empire shaved their brushes in mourning. I want to go home. What point is there in fighting this senseless war if not for Drusilla?
Aside from my weeping, little happened on this day. Miker continued to war down South and it was difficult to tell which way things would go. I would have to be ready to jump into the fray and deliver comeuppance to that saffron knave.
A lazy day on Neshmet. The distant clarion call of a Flighted Brainblorg echoes over the empty desert.
A heavy sigh emenates from the bloated figure on the mountain. It arches back and peers into the empty space above. There’s a thought in the back of its mind that never leaves. Even in the deathly depths of its long slumbers, it’s there. A phantom memory bringing visions of a great lost empire.
It all seems so long ago. It was no longer a concern. Nothing was a concern any more. Not since the surgery. The smallest sliver of brain matter, that’s all they took, but with it went the rage, the anger, the bloodlust. It was for the best, a rare show of mercy in a system torn apart by conflict. The others had agreed to let it retire and live out the rest of its days here on Neshmet. Harmless, forever.
A dull beeping sound disturbs its reverie. A message from a faraway place. Max Ironcock is making contact. The creature shuffles for a moment, considering. It remembers such a name, vaguely. It reads on. A request, for money. Money. It remembers that, too. It remembers pursuing it endlessly. It remembers being consumed by a need for more of it, for a moment it remembers that burning desire, feels it rippling through its great belly, raw excitement, the remnants of its old warlust. Then, the moment passes, replaced once more by the serenity of the desert.
Things were different now. It didn’t need things as petty as power or money, not while it had its solitude and this place on the mountain.
The great bearded slug presses a key to send the funds, sighs contentedly and turns back to the skies to watch Neshmet’s three suns as they begin to rise, together.
Death comes from all direction. Dante, Poseidon, and Ironcock are all teaming up on me, and my industry is too far spread out to muster a fleet large enough to combat all three. I was too trusting – how could I think that Ironcock wouldn’t betray me? I can’t be mad at him, however –he turtled rather beautifully. Looking at his research, I’m surprised to see that it far outstrips everyone else’s, including mine. Ironcock somehow went from being missing for a few key days early in the game to my pick to win it all.